Depleted, but not broken!

Despite the absence of 5 key basketball players at once, Avtodor showed character and imposed a fight on the road against the undisputed leader of the championship CSKA Moscow , delighting the fans along the way with a spectacular game. However, the limited rotation of the roster was not enough for the Volga players to prevent the army team, who had given up all their strength to win, to win their 12th match in a row in a season - 103:76 .

VTB United League. Regular Championship. 12th round.
CSKA (Moscow) - Avtodor (Saratov) - 103:76 (25-20, 24-16, 26-24, 28-16).
Avtodor: Zagorac (26+7 rebounds+5 assists), Minchenko (16+7 rebounds+5 blocks), Nikolic (16+8 rebounds+2 blocks), Jones (8+3 rebounds), Pranauskis (5+7 assists+5 rebounds), Kolesnikov (4+4 assists+3 steals), Fedorov (1), Ivanov.
CSKA: Ruzhentsev (21), Milutinov (19+11 rebounds), Shved (15+12 assists+3 rebounds), Davidovac (12), Jean-Charles (10+3 rebounds+3 assists), Moore (10+4 assists) ).

???? Match photos

Avtodor did not lose to big opponents led by Nikola Milutinov on the backboards (rebounds - 33:34), but due to fatigue, predictably allowed twice as many losses (22 vs. 10 for the hosts) and attacked unsteadily from behind the arc (20% three-pointers ). On the other hand, our guys showed high accuracy of shots from medium and close distances (69%), and also gave the Army Men 8 block shots, of which 5 went to Evgeniy MINCHENKO (16 points + 7 rebounds). Danilo NIKOLICH scored 16 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Serbian forward Rade ZAGORATS played his best match so far in the Saratov team with 26 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists and an interception. 19-year-old black-and-white defender Vitalijus PRANAUSKIS showed bold basketball and a wide “line” of 5 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds.

Both teams started the meeting without reconnaissance and productively - 9:8 after only 2 and a half minutes after finishing off Nikolic. CSKA, through the efforts of Milutinov, Kurbanov and Weir, made a 6-point acceleration and took the lead 15:8. Avtodor did not allow the star hosts to go into the gap, setting the scoreboard at 17:12 after two consecutive hits by Zagorats. Nevertheless, 4:14 before the first break, the "army team" for the first time managed to achieve a two-digit lead of the "three" Shved - 22:12.

The end of the starting quarter and the beginning of the 2nd period were left for the Volzhans largely due to the effective actions of Minchenko on both sides of the site. Our center managed not only to complete attacks, but also generously handed out block shots to the hosts - as many as three (!) in a short time period. Finishing Evgeny and a beautiful alley-up on Minchenko once again brought the guests closer to the distance of two possessions - 31:26 6:24 before the big break.

CSKA accelerated and went into the lead with a 14:4 spurt, which was crowned from the penalty line by the Swede - 45:30 2:06 before the end of the first half. Avtodor reacted with a hit by Zagorats and a three-shot by Nikolic, returning to the original "-10" a minute and a half before the break. The result of the first 20 minutes is 49:36 in favor of the red-blues.

The "soldiers" tried to resolve all issues in the debut of the second half, running away to "+18" - 56:38 at the end of the second minute. Jones pleased the audience with a sweeping dunk, marking the beginning of the return acceleration of the guests. Avtodor made a bet on long-range shots, which justified itself. Serial 3-point hits by Pranauskis, Nikolic and Zagorac (twice) discouraged CSKA and quickly turned "-18" into "-7" - 61:54 to the equator of the 3rd quarter. However, before the final period Rajkovich's wards managed to regain their 15-point handicap - 75:60.

Unfortunately, our guys no longer had the strength for the final game segment. 2:30 before the siren, Ruzhentsev exchanged the “hundred” with a spectacular “dunk” in isolation – 100:70. In Avtodor's last attack, Minchenko hit from the top, setting the final numbers on the scoreboard - 103:76 CSKA gets its 12th win in a row at the start of the season and strengthens its leadership in the VTB United League table.

Darko Russo's wards will play their next match on Monday, November 28, in Krasnodar against Lokomotiv-Kuban .

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